International Conference Connects Sustainability, Health, and Deliciousness Within the Mediterranean Diet

The Torribera Mediterranean Center (TMC), a joint project of the University of Barcelona and The Culinary Institute of America, hosted Tomorrow Tastes Mediterranean, its first international industry leadership conference, October 15-16 at the Edifici Històric of the University of Barcelona. On October 15, Joan Elias, rector of the university, also officially welcomed and constituted the three advisory councils of the center: the Scientific and Technical Advisory Council, the Business Leadership and Innovation Council, and the Culinary and Food Studies Council.

Translating research into action is the mission of the TMC. The program of Tomorrow Tastes Mediterranean accordingly reflected a broad range of perspectives, from science and culture to industry, forcing presenters and audience members alike outside of their usual silos and planting the seeds of more effective communication across sectors when it comes to the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, or Mediterranean lifestyle.

More than twenty presenters presented their work, among whom Ramon Estruch and Rosa M Lamuela-Raventós of the University of Barcelona, Sara Roversi from the Future Food Institute in Italy, Angelo Bonamici from the Compass Group at Google, Xavier Pi-Sunyer from Columbia University, Greg Drescher from the Culinary Institute of America, Aglaia Kremezi of Kea Artisanal in Greece, Tara Stevens of Courtyard Kitchen in Morocco, Sırma Güven and Tolga Kamiloğlu of Meditea in Turkey, Jean-Xavier Guinard of the University of California-Davis, and Lluis Serra-Majem from the University of Las Palmas. Dr. Estruch is also the chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Council.

These world-renowned experts shared scientific research and strategies that included how following the Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity; how it is also one of the most sustainable diets in the world; how switching to more plant-forward menus (traditional to the Mediterranean) is required for the health of the planet, and successful ways companies like Compass have implemented that; how to successfully preserve culinary traditions in places like Morocco and Turkey to ensure they are part of the future of the region; how sustainable tourism can function as an economic engine; and how to use technology to both collect and share information around Mediterranean cultures, cuisines, and dietary patterns.

The final program and presenters’ list are available at For more information, please contact

Joan Elias Garcia (Rector, University of Barcelona), center, presides over the opening session of Tomorrow Tastes Mediterranean. Accompanying are, from left to right, Gemma Tarafa Orpinell (Department of Health, Aging, and Care of the City of Barcelona), Michael Sperling (Vice President of Academic Affairs, The Culinary Institute of America); Jordi Camarasa García (Dean, School of Pharmacy and Food Science, University of Barcelona), and Áurea Rodríguez (Innovation Unit Director, ACCIÓ).